Good quality exterior and landscape lighting is an important component of any landscape upgrade. It makes little sense to invest in landscape design and implementation if it cannot be appreciated after 5.30pm on a winter’s night. This case study demonstrates how a small number of discreetly placed fixtures can transform a daytime outdoor dining and entertaining area into a visually warm and inviting extension of the home after dark.

Reflecting soft light off the wall creates a cosy, intimate setting. Note how the light sources are at two levels—this generates a soft, ambient light without glare. Always be careful to avoid strong light sources over dining areas; use a maximum 20w lamp with dimming capability. A task light such as this should also be separately switched. 

An attractive, wind protected candle feature is a good option if additional table top light is required. 

At the upper level, the plantings are backlit using the Spike Spot Adjustable, producing a silhouette effect.

Step lights provide illumination to safely negotiate stairs at night and add to the overall light level in the space, reducing the need for overhead light sources. Step lights should always be positioned as low as possible to avoid glare. 

Water features provide great opportunities to produce stunning lighting effects using optional colour filters and multiple fixtures.

This water feature is lit from within using the Hunza™ Pond Lite which comes with 3m of cable to enable the installer to make a join outside the catchment area. 

With increasing pressure on the availability of land for residential development in the major towns and cities, coupled with changes in lifestyles, the kiwi quarter acre is almost a thing of the past. Sections are now typically much smaller and more manageable.

The good news is that a garden makeover on a 500sq meter site or less becomes much more cost effective and economically viable.

Real estate studies have shown that every dollar spent on landscaping will be returned at least two-fold to the homeowner at the point of sale, so any expenditure on gardens and exteriors becomes a sound investment, provided it is carried out in a professional manner.

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